Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick Eats Babies!

Actually, he doesn't.

I was trying to do some research and find the most horrible thing St. Patrick had done, so I could properly ruin everyone's St. Patrick's Day. But it turns out, St. Patrick was a great guy.

Who knew you had to lead an exemplary life to be named a Saint?

Here's some stuff I did find out about St. Patrick, though:

- When he was 16, St. Patrick was captured and enslaved by Druids, which is how he ended up in Ireland. As a result, he is one of the first people in recorded history to advocate the abolition of slavery.

- Although he is believed to have banished snakes from Ireland, it turns out there probably never were any snakes in Ireland. St. Patrick just got rid of the serpent, a powerful symbol of the druids. He was probably pissed at them over that whole kidnap/enslavement thing.

- March 17, St. Patrick's Day, is actually what is believed to be his Death Day (not his birthday, as I thought). So in essence, St. Patrick's Day is a yearly Wake.

- The three largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the world are held in Dublin, Birmingham, and New York (which is the largest). Also, the first American St. Patrick's Day was held in Boston, but the first official celebration was in NYC at the "Crown and Thistle Tavern" in 1756.

- And finally, gays and lesbians are not allowed to march in the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade. In fact, this policy has been protested by Ireland, which has some of the most liberal gay laws in the world. But in defense of the New York parade, it is in direct accordance with St. Patrick's strong beliefs in oppression and exclusion of all peoples. Oh wait, he didn't have those.

And now, a link to a sexy naked leprechaun.


Geoffrey said...
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Geoffrey said...

According to the terrible, terrible Irish-American newspaper I read last night, March 17th was also St. Patrick's birthday.

That could very easily not be true.

Alex said...

Problem is, since he was alive in the 400s, there aren't very good records of his birth OR death.

March 17 is accepted for his death, since that's when we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but it's actually unlcear what year he died (it could be anywhere in a 20 year span).

So sure, why not, he was born and died on the same day. That's as possible as any other day you might venture.

In case it wasn't clear, I've done a lot of reading on St. Patrick today.